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Mar 4

Excalibur #8 annotations

Posted on Wednesday, March 4, 2020 by Paul in Annotations

As always, this post contains spoilers, and page numbers go by the digital edition.

COVER / PAGE 1. Cullen Bloodstone in hunting gear, with the heads of Excalibur as trophies on the wall behind him. Don’t worry, this does not happen in the story.

PAGES 2-3. Cullen calms down and invites Excalibur to talk over a meal.

Cullen behaves as if he thinks he’s acting perfectly reasonably; even though he’s in monster mode, his threat is basically to call the police.

PAGES 4-5. Credits and recap. The story is “Verse VIII: The Unspeakable and the Uneatable II” by Tini Howard, Wilton Santos, Marcus To, and various others. (Four inkers – the deadlines must have been pressing…)

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Mar 4

Marauders #9 annotations

Posted on Wednesday, March 4, 2020 by Paul in Annotations

As always, this post contains spoilers, and page numbers go by the digital edition.

PAGE 1 / COVER. Bishop shoots at Yellowjacket.

PAGES 2-4. Pyro arrives on Krakoa and is immediately besieged by adoring fans.

As we’ll see later, this is a dream created by Emma Frost to keep Pyro’s mind busy and Yellowjacket confused. For what it’s worth, though, note that the other Marauders are entirely absent from Pyro’s dream, even though he’s supposed to be just off the boat. The endless beach party of Krakoa is something we’ve seen in plenty of stories, but here it’s used as a trope of ludicrous fantasy, which is… interesting.

Jean Grey appears as the one-dimensional love interest – presumably this is Emma’s reading of Pyro’s fantasy, since when we see her later, she doesn’t exactly seem in the mood to be making private jokes. Pyro seems remarkably gullible in all this, but presumably that’s Emma’s influence too.

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Feb 29

New Mutants #8 annotations

Posted on Saturday, February 29, 2020 by Paul in Annotations

As always, this post contains spoilers, and page numbers go by the digital edition. By the way, the original version of the digital edition omitted the data pages – a corrected version was issued literally minutes before I was about to post this. X-Force, which has the same issue, still hasn’t been corrected at time of writing.

PAGE 1 / COVER: Magma fights the weird Brazilian monsters.

PAGES 2-3: Recap and credits. We’re continuing here from the Ed Brisson issues. The story is “A-Hunting We Will Go”, by Ed Brisson, Marco Failla and Carlos Lopez. The small print has changed to “Nova Roma – mutant hunting quadripeds”. I assume that’s a misprint for “quadruped”, not their name.

PAGE 4. Maxime and Manon tell Sebastian Shaw about the Bohem Cartel.

Blackstone is Shaw’s home on Krakoa, most often seen in Marauders.

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Feb 28

X-Force #8 annotations

Posted on Friday, February 28, 2020 by Paul in Annotations

As always, this post contains spoilers, and page numbers go by the digital edition. This isn’t an issue in need of much annotation, but hey, it’s a vehicle for an open thread.

This post has been edited to add the data pages, now that they’ve been included in the digital edition.

COVER / PAGE 1. Domino and Colossus, facing opposite directions, with blood and bodies everywhere.

PAGES 2-5. Domino stops the anti-Domino from killing a politician.

Apparently the minister was intending to support pro-mutant legislation. Well, they are offering very quick trade deals.

The anti-Domino seems to be removing her own ear to use as a weapon. We saw something similar in the autopsy of the Xeno soldiers who attacked Krakoa in issue #1, and the next scene confirms the link.

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Feb 28

X-Men/Fantastic Four #2 annotations

Posted on Friday, February 28, 2020 by Paul in Annotations

As always, this post contains spoilers, and page numbers go by the digital edition.

PAGE 1 / COVER. Well, it’s some of the X-Men and some characters from the Fantastic Four, isn’t it?

PAGE 2. Recap.

PAGES 3-4. Cyclops tries to reassure the FF that the X-Men aren’t responsible for Franklin and Valeria’s disappearance.

Straightforward. Scott is trying to be as emollient as possible, short of departing from his mutant-nationalist line. His comment that Valeria doesn’t belong on Krakoa is meant to demonstrate that the X-Men wouldn’t have taken them both (and it’s a fair point in that context), but goes down predictably badly. This is the basic conflict set up in issue #1: the X-Men see their mutant separatism as a positive identity, the FF (Sue in particular) see it as divisive and supremacist. For her, the X-Men only care about what Franklin is, not who he is (and she has a point).

As in issue #1, Magneto doesn’t seem particularly disappointed by this. (Note that in his data page about mutants later on, Reed is actually much more sympathetic to the mutants’ desire for a homeland.)

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Feb 27

Giant-Size X-Men: Jean Grey & Emma Frost annotations

Posted on Thursday, February 27, 2020 by Paul in Annotations

As always, this post contains spoilers, and page numbers go by the digital edition.

COVER / PAGE 1. Jean Grey and Emma Frost, as part of some sort of psychic imagery. Cyclops and Wolverine’s faces are visible in the background, each with an X in place of their mouths – presumably to do with the silence gimmick that takes up most of the issue. Logan’s hands and claws are clearer in the original art, but they’re partly obscure by the logo. There’s also a big evil face in the top left that’s harder to place, but resembles what we see in the snake within Storm’s mind later.

Jean is wearing her early 90s costume but in her late-60s colour scheme.

PAGES 2-3. Recap and credits. The recap page refers to Storm fighting Orchis (in X-Men #1) and the Children of the Vault (in X-Men #5). The story is “Into the Storm” by Jonathan Hickman, Russell Dauterman (who gets a co-writer credit) and Matthew Wilson. The small print on the credits page is the usual from X-Men.

PAGES 4-6. Two young mutants find Storm lying unconscious.

Not quite sure what the symbolic opening panel is adding, with everyone staring directly at the camera.

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Feb 20

Wolverine #1 annotations

Posted on Thursday, February 20, 2020 by Paul in Annotations

As always, this post contains spoilers, and page numbers go by the digital edition.

WOLVERINE. This is volume 7 of Wolverine, and that’s just counting the titles that were simply called Wolverine. Volume 1 is the 1982 miniseries, volume 2 is the long-running ongoing title that started in 1988. The others are periodic reboots.

COVER / PAGE 1. Wolverine with his claws out, standing over some dead people, and with a butterfly on his hand. His X-Men belt buckle is lit up, for some reason. Like X-Force, this book carries the world’s smallest “parental advisory” warning.

PAGES 2-4. Alaska. A badly injured Wolverine wakes up surrounded by the corpses of X-Force. He sets off following a set of footprints.

Most of the issue is flashbacks leading up to this point. The implication is that the Pale Girl, leader of the Flower Cartel, makes Wolverine kill the rest of X-Force. (It really is fortunate that the X-Men came up with this resurrection thing in time for the Krakoa era, because ever since, they’ve become remarkably prone to getting killed…)

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Feb 19

New Mutants #7 annotations

Posted on Wednesday, February 19, 2020 by Paul in Annotations

As always, this post contains spoilers, and page numbers go by the digital edition.

COVER / PAGE 1: The New Mutants on a parade float in the Shi’ar capital. Look, there’s Murd Blurdock and someone who might be Yondu on the left.

PAGES 2-5. Roberto recaps the plot – or rather, explains how the New Mutants defeated the Shi’ar Death Commandos.

Issue #5 ended with a cliffhanger, in which the Shi’ar Death Commandos blew up the New Mutants’ ship, in an attempt to assassinate Deathbird. The meta joke is that Roberto is so self absorbed that he’s oblivious to the fact that issue #6 featured the earthbound cast, and cheerfully regales us with a “recap” of how the cliffhanger was resolved, a story we’ve never actually seen.

“The do-nothing Gen X-ers.” Chamber and Mondo. It’s always been a little unclear what these two are doing in the series, given that they aren’t part of the original New Mutants team and barely know any of the other characters. From what little we’ve seen of them, they seem to have been wondering the same thing. As for Sunspot, whose whole agenda here is to get the band back together, he seems somewhat baffled by their presence too – and he looks down on them as minor characters. (Probably fair in relation to Mondo, but Chamber’s a more prominent character than, say, Karma.) It doesn’t play out in the course of this issue, but presumably it’s heading somewhere.

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Feb 14

Excalibur #7 annotations

Posted on Friday, February 14, 2020 by Paul in Annotations

As always, this post contains spoilers, and page numbers go by the digital edition.

COVER / PAGE 1. Excalibur hunt the Warwolves.

PAGES 2-3. Recap and credits. The story is “Verse VII: The Unspeakable and the Uneatable” by Tini Howard, Wilton Santos and Oren Junior. The title refers to the description of fox hunting in Oscar Wilde’s 1893 play A Woman of No Importance: “The unspeakable in full pursuit of the uneatable.”

PAGE 4. Excalibur bury the Sword of Might beneath the lighthouse.

Brian asked for the Sword of Might to be kept well away from him at the end of the last issue. The original Excalibur lighthouse also had a sword outside it for a long, long time – Magik’s Soulsword, which appeared outside the lighthouse when she died in Inferno. But this time the plan seems to be to bury the cursed sword as far underground as possible.

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Feb 14

X-Force #7 annotations

Posted on Friday, February 14, 2020 by Paul in Annotations

As always, this post contains spoilers, and the page numbers go by the digital edition.

COVER / PAGE 1. Domino (without any of her plant grafts) about to be crushed by a toppling domino. It’s symbolic.

PAGES 2-5. Domino and Sage discuss a series of freakishly improbable killings.

This is self-explanatory – someone is killing humans who have been prominent supporters of mutants, and is doing so in ways which rely on such ludicrous coincidences that some sort of super power must be involved. For what it’s worth, we haven’t heard that much in the Hickman era about humans who are pro-mutant, as opposed to humans who are just willing to deal with Krakoa for the drugs. But evidently they’re out there.

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